Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Dragon Boat Festival or The Slow Boat To China?

Why is it taking so long to confirm our Consulate Appointment?

The provincial offices do not process paperwork on Monday June 14, Tuesday 15, and Wednesday 16 because of the Dragon Boat Festival, therefore we have to wait an extra week to travel. The exciting news is that we hope to be in Hong Kong during the Dragon Boat Races.
Dragon Boat Festival:
This ancient event, also known as Tuen Ng Festival, commemorates the death of a popular Chinese national hero, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River over 2,000 years ago to protest against the corrupt rulers. Legend has it that as townspeople attempted to rescue Qu Yuan, they beat drums to scare fish away and threw dumplings into the sea to keep the fish from eating his body. 
The real highlight of 
the festival is the 
dragon boats racing in a lively, vibrant spectacle. Teams race the elaborately decorated 
dragon boats to the beat of heavy drums. The special boats, which measure more than 10 metres, have ornately carved and painted "dragon" heads and tails, and each carries a crew of 20-22 paddlers.
Participants train in earnest for the competition. Sitting two abreast, with a steersman at the back and a drummer at the front, the paddlers race to reach the finishing line, urged on by the pounding drums and the roar of the crowds.

Today festival activities recall this legendary event. People eat rice-and-meat dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves; and many look forward to swimming or even simply dipping their hands in the water.

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Liu Chun Tian
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